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David Friedman on the Contributions of Immigrants

By David Henderson | Feb 23 2024
In a recent substack post, David Friedman points out a problem with judging immigrants solely by their fiscal impact. His analysis is so clear that it’s worth reposting part of it. Here it is: What is bizarre about [Emil] Kierkegaard’s argument is that he identifies fiscal impact with contribution to society, writing, on the basis ...

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Thoughts on Huemer vs Friedman

By Kevin Corcoran | Feb 25 2024

Recently, David Friedman posted a response to an argument from Michael Huemer about when one should defer to experts or attempt to figure out the truth of some issue directly. David Friedman argued more in the direction of working out the truth directly, while Huemer seemed to argue more in favor of deferring to experts. .. MORE

Featured Comment

The article poses an important question on how to learn econ at a Intro level or even higher.  How to teach,  use equations, lines and graphs or put a lot more emphasis on real world..

Grand Rapids Mike, February 25

Most Recent

Economics of Crime

Does illegal immigration help to reduce crime?

By Scott Sumner | Feb 27, 2024 | 2

The Heritage Foundation recently reported some very frightening data on illegal migration and crime: Increased Illegal Immigration Brings Increased Crime: Almost 2/3 of Federal Arrests Involve Noncitizens . . . A 2021 Department of Justice report revealed that 64% of federal arrests in 2018 involved noncitizens, despite them comprising only 7% of the population at that time. This has .. MORE

Business Economics

 Boeing, Culture, and Responsibility

By Dennis Murphy | Feb 27, 2024 | 0

Oh Boeing, what a mess you’ve gotten yourself into now. The 737 series of aircraft is venerable; It is the number one selling aircraft in the world, outselling its Airbus competitor the A32x series of aircraft…but not by much (Boeing has delivered 11,000 737 series airframes while Airbus has delivered around 10,000 A32x series).  I .. MORE

Adam Smith

Did Adam Smith Anticipate the Idea of Comparative Advantage?

By David Henderson | Feb 27, 2024 | 5

Last December, I gave a talk at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. I blogged about the talk here. And you can see the talk here. At about the 4:13 point of my talk, I told about being on a taped interview about 20 years ago with someone who .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

A Charter City for Egypt?

By Scott Sumner | Feb 26, 2024 | 1

A few weeks back, I blogged on the successful economies in the Persian Gulf area: I used to believe that Norway was unique—an oil-rich country with an equally high quality non-oil sector.  Now I wonder if the Gulf states are not becoming successful in much the same way.  I hope so, as the world needs .. MORE

Business Economics

Should We Care if Legacy Media Dies?

By Art Carden | Feb 26, 2024 | 4

Does hydra-headed social media mean the end of legacy media outlets like the New York Times and local newspapers? I recall a letter to the Birmingham News fretting that blogging “nuts” rather than professional journalists might someday influence policy. Should we care that much if newspapers and other legacy media outlets die? I don’t think .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Thoughts on Huemer vs Friedman

By Kevin Corcoran | Feb 25, 2024 | 14

Recently, David Friedman posted a response to an argument from Michael Huemer about when one should defer to experts or attempt to figure out the truth of some issue directly. David Friedman argued more in the direction of working out the truth directly, while Huemer seemed to argue more in favor of deferring to experts. .. MORE

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Bloggers David Henderson, Alberto Mingardi, Scott Sumner, Pierre Lemieux, Kevin Corcoran, and guests write on topical economics of interest to them, illuminating subjects from politics and finance, to recent films and cultural observations, to history and literature.

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Book Club

History of Economic Thought

Indirect Evidence for the Magness and Makovi Hypothesis About Karl Marx 11

Last year, the Journal of Political Economy published an article by Phillip W. Magness and Michael Makovi in which they argued that what made Karl Marx into a major name was the second Russian revolution of 1917, the one that installed the Bolsheviks and brought Communism to Russia. Their evidence was very strong and I .. MORE

Adam Smith

Should Libertarians Reject Moral Degeneracy? 22

Here’s a question for you – should libertarians reject moral degeneracy?  (For now, let’s just table the object-level discussion about what specifically constitutes degeneracy, and focus on the meta-level discussion instead. Bob may think homosexuality constitutes moral degeneracy and should be rejected, but alcohol use is fine, while Bill may think alcohol use is morally .. MORE

Central Planning

Maybe Clarke and Rice Are Both Right 3

Going through my hard drive, I found an article I wrote in 2004 dealing with an important controversy after 9/11. The controversy pitted Condeleezza Rice against Richard Clarke. Rice headed the National Security Council under George W. Bush. Clarke was one of her employees and he specialized in counterterrorism. This link gives you more background .. MORE

Book Reviews and Suggested Readings

Culture, Institutions, and Folkways

By Arnold Kling

it is indeed culture—not genes, geography, institutions, policies, or leadership—that ultimately determines the differential success of societies. —David C. Rose, Why Culture Matters Most,1 page 1 Some economists, including David C. Rose, find it interesting to debate the relative importance of culture and institutions in economic growth and development. The “natural experiment” in the aftermath .. MORE

Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit

By Frank H. Knight

The text has been altered as little as possible from the original edition ( Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit, Frank H. Knight, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics in the State University of Iowa; Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Co., The Riverside Press, 1921).A few corrections of obvious typos were made for this website edition. However, .. MORE

Glimpses of a New Order

By Arnold Kling

The new elites are in revolt against “Middle America,” as they imagine it: a nation technologically backward, politically reactionary, repressive in its sexual morality, middlebrow in its tastes, smug and complacent, dull and dowdy. —Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy,1 p. 5-6. Historian Christopher Lasch died in 1994, and .. MORE

Henry George’s Protection or Free Trade: A Critical Review

By Charles L. Hooper

Henry George published his spirited defense of free trade, Protection or Free Trade, in 1886. In this classic, George paid special attention to how protectionism affected the working class. Except for the slightly dated writing style and examples from a century ago, Protection or Free Trade could have been written yesterday. With the election of .. MORE